Need to regulate the functioning of private hospitals: Union Health Secretary

Need to regulate the functioning of private hospitals:  Union Health Secretary

Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan in a reference to the two recent cases of unethical medical practices reported from Delhi said that medical services are being commercialized and there is a need to regulate the functioning of private hospitals.  

Asked to comment on the Max and Fortis hospital cases, Sudan said, "Medical services are being commercialised. There is a need to rethink on the way hospitals function because when you (patients) go to a hospital, you feel vulnerable. However, in a country of India's size, we can't do away with the private sector."

Sudan said states should adopt and implement the Clinical Establishment act, 2010 that was created as a model legislation with the underlying objective of regulating the private hospital and nursing home industry.

The act came into effect in four states: Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Mizoram and all union territories except Delhi in 2012. Later six other states – Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand and Assam - adopted it.

Once the Max and Fortis cases came to the limelight, Union Health Minister J P Nadda asked the states to adopt the act. Sudan too wrote to the states. "We now have 15 queries from the states on this act," said a health ministry official.

Meanwhile, West Bengal and Karnataka came out with its own legislation, modelled on the central act.

Delhi government on Friday suspended the license of Max hospital, which declared a baby dead though it was alive. Fortis has been found guilty of highly over-charging the father of seven year old girl, who had dengue and died after 15 days of treatment at the hospital, for which the family paid a bill of nearly 16 lakhs.

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